mandysee_mandydo: (Default)
Tonight we watched Out in the Silence. This is a great documentary about LGBT equality in rural America. If you haven't seen it, I recommend watching it. It made a really good point that I find particularly relevant not only with the current struggle for marriage equality and LGBT rights, but also with the recent news about Elton John singing at Rush Limbaugh's wedding. Since I'm going to discuss content of the documentary, spoilers are behind the cut for those who don't want to read before watching (at least here on LJ, I don't think cuts carry over to Facebook, sorry!).

Read more... )

This had me thinking about the recent news of Elton John singing at Rush Limbaugh's wedding, and the scorn and ridicule that Elton John has taken from some in the LGBT community for taking the job. I'll put this behind a cut, too, since it ties in with the spoilers.

Read more... )
mandysee_mandydo: (Default)
As a couple, Kathy and I occasionally get some odd looks. We've never been a couple to hide our affection for each other. If we part ways in public, we still kiss and hug goodbye and say "I love you" to each other. It's what loving couples do, as far as we're concerned. It what my parents did and still do. The looks we get when this happens do not miss our attention, but we don't care. It didn't happen when we were a "straight" couple, or at least not as frequently and obviously, but it does now. Having a child has added a whole new dimension to this experience. Today seemed to be the day for it to really come to the foreground. We had two interactions today that seemed to be a dramatically altering moment in others perceptions of us as people.

First we went to a local store. We went to the counter with our purchase and the clerk asked us, "Whose kid?" We both said pretty much in unison, "Ours." She suddenly had this puzzled look on her face and said, "Oh. Okay." People have kind of beaten around the bush about this one, but this was the first time anyone ask us so bluntly and seemed surprised to find out that we were two moms to one child.

Then we went to the local community meal. We used to go every week until I had to work at the time the meal is normally held. Even still, most people there know and recognize us and no one has ever really mistreated us there. In fact, usually it's very much the opposite. There is one elderly gentleman who is friendly with us and loves to see Ian. Today he was commenting on how big he was getting and then saw his eyes, commented on how brown they were, looked at my eyes, noticed they were blue, and then I said, "He got her eyes," in reference to Kathy. He asked a couple questions about the daddy and then the conversation continued much like this (X is the gentleman, J for me and K for Kathy):

X is rather happy and smiling.

X: "So is she your sister?"
K:: "No, wife."
J: "No, she's my wife."
X: "You're married?!"

At this point his facial expression has gone from very smiley to sort of serious OMG perplexed face. It was that quick and that obvious. I suck at reading people and even I got the message very clearly.

J: "Yes. We're married."
X: "So which one of you had him?"
J: "She did."
K: "I did."

And then they called for people with containers to come get leftovers and he walked away. That was perhaps the most odd experience we've had as same-gender parents. It wasn't bad, but it was definitely a very different experience for us.

So, my question for any of our friends who are same-gender parents: Have you experienced anything like this? Worse instances? In general things went over better?
mandysee_mandydo: (Default)
I read this article in one of the local papers tonight and it has me frustrated. Good ol' "live free or die" NH might be considering legislation in the same vain as Maine soon to repeal same-sex marriage. I should hope it won't pass, but I think really when the legislation comes up it really needs to be nailed hard for the negative economic impact it will have on the state.

Some of my thoughts to Cornerstone Policy Research...

"Our state is struggling enough to keep smart, talented people within our borders to strengthen our economy. Yet when legislation was considered to allow same-sex marriage and to provide non-discrimination laws for transgender people, you spoke against them. Now you are speaking in favor of potential legislation similar to Maine that seeks to repeal same-sex marriage. Isn't our economy bad enough without you seeking to make it worse? It's unfortunate in such a difficult economy you want to give our state more reason to drive fruitful citizens away. NH citizens can easily move elsewhere and get broadband internet readily (and from more than one provider), a lower cost of living, a higher income, a fairer tax model, same-sex marriage, and transgender rights. What would those here get? No sales or income tax? Is it really worth it, especially when you have people on fixed incomes paying as much as 50+% of their fixed incomes on property tax? And for what? A state that seeks to take away rights, deny rights, ridicule its citizens (I draw special attention to the horrible, insulting, insensitive, and downright unprofessional and unethical remarks of many of the Republican legislators during the debate over transgender non-discrimination), and hand over infrastructure to inept providers (FairPoint bankruptcy comes to mind).

Drive away the youthful innovators and experienced seniors. You can stay behind and pay the high property taxes for a failing state full of not much but leaves and pretty mountains to be desired. The charm of our natural setting wears thin very swiftly once the surface is scratched."

mandysee_mandydo: (Transgender)
I'm so excited that my eyes are welling up with tears of joy! HB 415 (adds gender identity and expression to the NH state anti-discrimination laws) not only passed a motion to reconsider this morning after failing a House vote by 15 votes a week ago, but also survived a vote to mark it Inexpedient to Legislate and passed the new vote in the NH House by one vote, 188 - 187! I am so grateful to everyone who worked hard to make this happen, especially Gerri Cannon and all of my friends and family that contacted their state representatives.

It's not over. Now it goes on to the State Senate, and assuming it passes there it has to get through the Governor...
mandysee_mandydo: (Transgender)
This morning, very first thing, the NH House is voting to reconsider HB 415. HB 415 is the bill that would add "gender identity and expression" to the state's anti-discrimination laws, giving us transgender citizens equal protection most importantly when seeking employment, housing, and health care. It was portrayed by some people as the "Bathroom Bill," though really that's just a smoke screen because HB 415 doesn't change the status of bathrooms in NH. The vote on this bill failed by 15 votes out of over 300, which is encouraging for the first time this issue was considered by the state legislature. There were 53 Democrats absent from the vote, so the hope is that by having this motion for reconsideration put to vote first thing this morning before the House reviews the state budget, along with some very heavy education efforts that Gerri Cannon in particular has been doing, these 53 votes could bring HB 415 back to vote. If it doesn't get voted Inexpedient to Legislate, there's the potential that it could also pass this time around and move on to the state Senate. I'm remaining hopeful that it passes.

So here's the question: if HB 415 fails again, could a case be made that discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or expression is a case of discrimination on the basis of gender? I don't believe any such case has succeeded in NH state courts, but I know such a case has succeeded on the federal level, but only just recently. In NH, I believe usually when there has been success, the case law used relies on state disability laws. One question in particular that I have is whether or not statements legislators themselves have made, whether during public discussion on HB 415 or in private communications with constituents writing in response to HB 415, indicating their belief that current anti-discrimination laws already protect transgender people (of course providing no specifics as to how, just that they do). If enough legislators indicate their interpretation of existing legislation is that it protects transgender people from discrimination, could a transgender person fired or refused employment on the basis of gender identity and/or expression then file a suit for discrimination on the basis of gender and use these legislators' statements to support the case? What bearing do statements, especially public statements during the course of deliberation, made by legislators have on case law? Does anyone have any insight on using legislators' statements interpreting law to support a court case, or even better examples where this has been done successfully?
mandysee_mandydo: (Transgender)
Don't ask me how, but I ended up going to the Focus on the Family website and found their positions on transgender people. I figured not only would I share a link to it, but also take a minute to point out some thoughts on their arguments and positions.

First, a logical fallacy:

"We also learn that His creation and ordering of the world involved a series of "separations." These separations include heaven and earth, light and dark, day and night, morning and evening, clouds and seas, water and dry land, and sun and moon."

refutation of the claim of sex/gender dichotomy by way of logical fallacy )
Having gone through the fallacy above in detail, I think it sets up some points to tackle their positions. I'll handle some of their points one by one.
arguments against selected positions against transgender people )
mandysee_mandydo: (Transgender)
Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. I was really touched by [ profile] jesshartley's post about this day so I would like to encourage you all to visit her LJ and read. Thank you, Jess!

I like what she said about hope. I got so caught up in my excitement over pregnancy that I didn't stop to realize what day it is, but I would like to think that the good news this morning is a sign of hope. On such a solemn day when we remember the many who died simply because there are people in this world moved to violence simply because they can't accept transgender people, my wife and I are looking forward to having a child while I transition. We've had so much support from so many of our family and friends. We're very fortunate, and I am especially grateful for all of the support and love, as I know [ profile] painted_wolf is, too. Thank you all!

So many other transgender people have not been so fortunate, so please remember those who have suffered. Please help to spread the message of hope and let those who would feel moved to violence know that violence against transgender people is not to be tolerated. The life of a transgender person is just as sacred as any other person's life!

mandysee_mandydo: (What I Am)
He states it so well that I would rather just let him do the talking. Please read and/or watch:
mandysee_mandydo: (What I Am)
32lymouth Congregational Church is hosting a showing of For The Bible Tells Me So and will have Bishop Gene Robinson in attendance as a special guest of honor. And it's happening on my birthday! Awesome! I definitely plan to attend, and I hope some of you will plan to attend, too. Here's the information I received from the pastor:

For the Bible Tells Me So, written and directed by Daniel Karslake, explores the intersection between religion and homosexuality in the U.S. This Sundance Film Festival winner offers healing, clarity and understanding is showing on September 23rd at 7pm at the Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ on the Common. All are invited.

The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson will be the guest of honor of the Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ on the Common, for the September 23rd's showing of the acclaimed documentary For the Bible Tells Me So. Book signing at 6:15pm, Film at 7:00pm and Q & A to follow. All are invited.

Anyone interested in meeting up somewhere and heading over together? I had a chance to see part of this film and it is really great. Even if you are not a spiritual or religious person, I highly recommend seeing this film.

"We are members of PFLAG and we are proud members of PFLAG and we're very proud of our daughter Chrissy Gephardt and her partner, Amy, who's here tonight and we love both of them a lot. We were supportive as any parent should be. We love Chrissy unconditionally and we supported her in every way that we knew how and could." - Congressman Dick Gephardt
mandysee_mandydo: (Transgender)
[Error: unknown template qotd] Yes. Because that's who I am.
mandysee_mandydo: (What I Am)
Here's an excellent video that was sent to me by someone in the local PFLAG chapter and I just wanted to share.

mandysee_mandydo: (Transgender)
I signed the petition "Objection to DSM-V Committee Members on Gender Identity Disorders" and ask that you help me by doing the same. This is an issue that is very important to me. The DSM-IV currently includes Gender Identity Disorders. These diagnoses are important for transgender people, especially transsexuals, to get medical treatment and legal relief. From the petition overview:

"On the Task Force, named as Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders
Chair, we find Dr. Kenneth Zucker, from Toronto infamous Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH, formerly the Clarke Institute). Dr. Zucker is infamous for utilizing reparative therapy to Ccure gender-variant children. Named to his work group, we find Zuckers mentor, Dr. Ray Blanchard, Head of Clinical Sexology Services at CAMH and creator of the theory of autogynephilia, categorized as a paraphilia and defined as  man paraphilic tendency to be sexually aroused by the thought or image of himself as a woman. Also Dr Ann Lawrence, a supporter of his JUNK SCIENCE, is understood to be in consideration as an alternate member.

We, the undersigned hereby object to their inclusion on this committee, and object to the hurtful theories they promote. In order to have any credibility in the field of gender identity, the DSM must not include discounted theories or junk science. We ask that they be removed at once as members."

Please join me in sending this message!
mandysee_mandydo: (What I Am)
First, a very happy birthday to my Dad! I love you! *hugs* I don't know if Dad actually reads my LJ, but I figure it can't hurt to post this. I'll be calling him tomorrow, but I couldn't really call him today because he leaves for work before we broke the silence.

I woke up and my morning and through the afternoon was silent (with the exception of giving a prospective student and parent directions to admissions and ordering [profile] painted_wolf's lunch). It's incredibly challenging to maintain silence! We drove into town where I dropped PW off at class and then went to do laundry. Laundry was as it usually was. I didn't go out for breakfast as I usually do on Fridays because I didn't want to deal with the hassle of trying to order food without speaking, so I ended up eating a rather groty gas station breakfast sandwich and a stick of string cheese. It was food. *shrugs*

After laundry I parked the truck and walked over to help with Day of Silence. I was rather timid at first about handing out the cards about Day of Silence, but after a while I was handing them out left and right. For the most part people either accepted them and actually read them or just ignored me or said no thanks. It's amazing how many people still just don't want to think about or deal with GLBTQ. I actually had one person accept the card, look at it and immediately groaned, crumpled the card and threw it in the garbage. Well, at least he didn't litter. *sigh*

It was a gorgeous day! It felt nice to spend so much time outside. I got a bit too much sun so I have red forearms and a red face. Some days (like today) I wish I actually could tan instead of going from white to red. I ended up handing out most of the cards, which is quite impressive considering the stack was very large. Afterward I bought a t-shirt and also got one of the t-shirts from last year. Way cool! I'm not sure how much I'll be wearing the shirt from last year since it's chock full of really naughty words, but I'll definitely wear it. :)

I met up with PW, [profile] ciliandis, [personal profile] pyrbennu and Randy up in the Print Shop and bugged PW for her lunch order. I grabbed the food, ate lunch real quick and then off I went to work. Unfortunately I had to break the silence at 2:30 for work, an hour-and-a-half before the time to break the silence. Here I've been the rest of the night, working on a project so I can get used to some of the more advanced features of the portable studio. Since things are rendering right now, I get a quick moment to blog. Yay!

This weekend should be nice. Tomorrow I'm working four hours but otherwise just shopping and relaxing. Sunday I have church and then I get to hang out with Sarah for a while!
mandysee_mandydo: (V)
Thank you [info]jamaesi for posting about your opportunity to meet Bill Clinton and hear him speak!

While I don't know the context in which the discussion happened or what exactly was said, apparently at Waynesburg University Bill Clinton spoke about not giving different rules for different people and asked why GLBT people should have different rules than straight people. Now, I would hope that this would perhaps be prodding to encourage same-sex marriage and equal rights, but I suspect given Hilary's stance that she supports civil unions and not same-sex marriage (you know, different rules, separate and unequal) that this was more a condemnation of same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage is not about giving GLBT people different rules or special dispensation. If anything it's quite the contrary: it's seeking to make the same rule apply to all. Straight people can freely marry the person they love. They don't have to worry about whether their state has laws against it or the federal government has laws against it or whether even if it's permitted that some group of people will successfully lobby to have their ability to marry taken away. GLBT people, on the other hand, have to deal with all of this. And beyond the legal right to do it or not, the ability to get married is the gatekeeper to an assortment of basic needs for any couple: the need to be part of medical and/or financial decisions when one's partner is in poor health, just being able to be with one's partner in the hospital, being able to have children and start a family together, having all tax options available, et cetera. Civil unions don't accomplish this, even in the case of New Hampshire that gives on a state level the "full" benefits and responsibilities of marriage. That's nice, but the federal government doesn't recognize that for their purposes.

I've even heard or read the argument that GLBT people have the same legal right to marriage as anyone else, just so long as they marry someone of the opposite sex. That's ludicrous. Gays and lesbians, and even some bisexual people, can't marry the people they love in that case. Straight people can. That doesn't seem at all equal to me. If we take that logic and extend it to same-sex marriage, then there would be nothing stopping a straight person from entering into same-sex marriage, either, so how would same-sex marriage be unequal?

Same-sex marriage and other GLBT rights are not about giving GLBT people different rules. The current laws exclude GLBT people so it's currently a state of different rules for different people. This needs to be rectified. Clinton won't do that. McCain won't do that. I'm not even confident that Obama will do that. Regardless of which candidates will or won't, we need to keep pushing for it and letting them know that we won't tolerate separate and unequal any longer.
mandysee_mandydo: (Weekend Update)
This weekend was just as busy as the rest of the week, and admittedly it has left me feeling as though I've not had a day off at all this past week and will not have one for a few more days. That's not a complaint at all, mind you. It's just the truth on how I'm feeling. The weekend, in spite of being busy, was simply marvelous. I had a wonderful time!

mandysee_mandydo: (Transgender)
The Nashua Telegraph has been running a series of great articles that take a positive and informative view of transgender issues. Unfortunately they have taken a lot of heat from some people in the Nashua area that feel the articles are trash and transgendered people are deviants or perverts, which is ludicrous. In response, the Telegraph is running a poll on their website to determine if it's worth continuing the stories. Please take a moment to visit the Nashua Telegraph web site and let them know that the articles are important and they should keep printing them. The poll is toward the bottom of the front page in the middle.
mandysee_mandydo: (V)
This weekend the gender marker petition passed the 100 signatures mark. It's not a huge amount, but it's a good start. If you haven't signed, please do so. There is a definite need for signatures from NH but all are welcome to sign regardless of state of residence. There is also an option to sign the petition "anonymously" so your name is not displayed on the web page in case you are concerned about that.
mandysee_mandydo: (transgender)
I read this article on the Trans Group Blog. I think Jenn Burleton has superbly summarized why gender identity and expression is not confined to the realm of transgender concern but applies to all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning and straight people alike. Please give it a read.

Crumbling the Cookie Cutter
mandysee_mandydo: (transgender)
There is a petition to get the NH DMV to allow changes to drivers licenses for transsexuals. Currently the state requires sex reassignment surgery before they'll allow transsexuals to change their gender marker to the appropriate gender. While this may seem reasonable, it most assuredly is not. One element of the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care for transition is a minimum one-year Real Life Experience that reputable medical professionals require of transsexuals before they can have surgery. During this time it is essential for transsexuals to pass and live as their identified gender 24/7. Having photo identification that shows a different gender than the gender presented opens transsexuals to potential embarrassment, harassment, discrimination or even violence. There are also non-op transsexuals that aim to live presenting as their gender identity 24/7 but either do not need, do not want, cannot get or cannot afford surgery and this change is absolutely essential for them, as well.

Please join me and many others in urging the NH DMV to change their current policy on gender markers to allow the change without surgery. Also, please help spread the word!
mandysee_mandydo: (transgender)
I just read on the National Center for Transgender Equality site that the New Jersey Legislature has passed a bill that would add gender identity/expression as a protected class to the hate crimes laws. This is great news! The bill now goes to the Governor for an expected signature.


mandysee_mandydo: (Default)
Jamie Amana Capach

September 2016

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